By Dino-Ray Ramos GLAAD.org | June 9, 2022
Whether blatant or subtle, the world of vampires has always been sexy. More than that it has always been queer coded. From Interview with a Vampire to Blade to the Twilight franchise to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to True Blood, vampires have always been an allegory for being an outsider. However, none of there haven’t been many films or TV series where there is a queer romance front and center — Netflix’s First Kill changes all of that.
In the series, created by V. E. Schwab and showrun by Felicia D. Henderson, we follow teen vampire Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook), who is ready to make her first kill so that she can take her place in her all-powerful vampire family. She is immediately drawn to Calliope (Imani Lewis) to be her first kill, but — surprise! — Calliope is a vampire hunter from a family of badass slayers. The two fall for each other and navigate their complex emotions because at the end of the day, they’re both teens just trying to figure things out — but add being a vampire and vampire slayer to the mix and it’s a tale of forbidden love a la Romeo and Juliet — but queer.
GLAAD’s Anthony Allen Ramos recently chatted with Hook and Lewis, about the series and how it was like to bring queer representation to the Netflix.
“Oh my gosh, it’s so exciting!” exclaimed Hook. “I mean, the fact that we’re having queer vampires is so cool.”
Lewis added, “I’m constantly excited about it and what thisis going to do for the people that feel represented or see bits of themselves in our stories or in any of the characters’ stories. It’s such an honor.”
Hook said she was never a “vampire fanatic” but she did follow shows like The Vampire Diaries as well as movies like Twilight. She even cites the movie version and the TV iteration of What We Do In the Shadows. “I just I feel like those were big cultural moments and we need to bring it back,” she said, adding that “it feels pretty cool” to be a part of that lineage. “I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be a vampire,” she added.
The two had to get comfortable with each other very fast because they were going to be involved in very violent scenes and very steamy scenes. Lewis told Ramos that going on this journey with Hook was absolutely wonderful.
“I wouldn’t have wanted to go on this journey with anyone else,” she said. “From the moment we first connected, we hit it off.”
Their first FaceTime together lasted four hours and they quickly connected and wanted to support each other because they were going to spend hours together and with their characters so Lewis said that they made sure it was a communicative process — especially during the more intimate scenes.
“It was just a really safe environment anytime I was with her especially during the more intimate scenes, which is so it’s just so special to have a co-lead like that who is so respectful of you and your space and what you want from her from each other,” she said.
“Everything’s choreographed — it was like a dance,” Lewis said regarding the intimate scenes. “We’re also thinking of the viewers like what you all will enjoy when you see it because we see everything behind the camera, but the real magic is when you all can see it and create your own perspective.”
First Kill debuts on Netflix June 10 The series also stars Elizabeth Mitchell, Will Swenson, Aubion Wise, Jason Robert Moore, Gracie Dzienny, Dylan McNamara, Dominic Goodman, Phillip Mullings Jr., MK xyz , Jonas Dylan Allen, and Roberto Mendez.